Pat Jones (front right) gives a tour of Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church prior to the opening sessions.

Former bishop Paul Hirschy speaks to attendees on behalf of Huntington University.

The Tuesday morning keynote session included discussions at the tables, sharing of prayer concerns, and praying.

Everyone's got their passport ready as the bus prepares to enter Canada.

Craig Mickey (foreground) leads the way as some of the group prepare to board the Maid of the Mist, a boat which cruises to the base of the Horseshoe Falls. Thin plastic ponchos are provided...and much needed.

The Associates Summit is in progress in Buffalo, New York. Twenty-two persons serving 13 different United Brethren churches in associate roles are attending. They are joined by three persons from the national office–Bishop Phil Whipple, Cluster coordinator Dennis Miller, and Communications director Steve Dennie. This conference is for spouses, too, and seven spouses are attending.

Bishop Phil Whipple spoke to the attendees at the restaurant following the noon meal on Tuesday, May 22.

Also participating is Pat Jones, a former United Brethren pastor and Director of Healthy Church Ministries. In 2009, Pat became senior pastor of Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church in Buffalo, New York. Eastern Hills is hosting some of the sessions, and Pat is speaking each day. That’s why everyone’s in Buffalo. Pat’s keynote addresses are built around the book “The Circle Maker,” by Mark Batterson.

This conference is designed for persons in UB churches working in such staff roles as pastoral care, assimilation, adult education, visitation, counseling, missions, discipleship, children’s ministry, etc. It is not for senior pastors.

While senior pastors participate in periodic cluster meetings, which provide continual training for them, associate staff do not attend cluster meetings. Instead, a series of specialized summits are designed for them. There is the annual UB Youth Workers Summit, and earlier in May there was a summit for persons in worship and music ministry.

This is the first year for the Associates Summit. Two years ago, a summit was held for persons in the spiritual care niche, but only six persons attended. The range was broadened for the Associates Summit. The result was a quadrupling of the attendance.

The conference began on Monday night, May 21, with an opening session at Eastern Hills church. On Tuesday morning, everyone ate breakfast together at the Millennium Hotel, where everyone is staying. After breakfast, Bishop Emeritus Paul Hirschy, who has worked for Huntington University since 2005, gave a presentation on behalf of the university. At the beginning of June, Hirschy will begin a new role as associate pastor of College Park UB church in Huntington, Ind. Then Pat Jones gave his second message.

By 11 am, everyone was loaded in a large passenger bus and headed for Niagara Falls. After a lunch at the Edgewater restaurant overlooking both the US and Canadian falls, Bishop Phil Whipple gave a challenge to the associates. Then the participants spent the rest of the afternoon taking tours and rides at the falls.

The summit will conclude after breakfast on Thursday, May 24.

The meeting place in the Honduran town of Clinton.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

Rev. Juanita Chavez (right), superintendent of Honduras National Conference, sent this photo from a recent trip to the town of Clinton, where a new church plant is under way. On this particular day, a team was erecting a shelter for the church to use for gatherings.

Although the structure may seem quite simple, it’s amazing to see how God is multiplying these types of church plants around the world. Donald McGavran, church planter, missiologist and author of The Bridges of God, wrote of such people movements, “…their churches are necessarily built like their houses–and are as indigenous as anyone could wish.”

In Honduras and among many of our Central American conferences, they have the capability to multiply this type of structure and, as such, reach more people and communities with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Huntington University will launch a graduate program in occupational therapy in the fall of 2014. The university is currently searching for a director to create the master’s and doctoral level programs.

This will be the university’s first doctorate degree and its first graduate programs in allied health.

The graduate programs will be located within the new Life Science Education and Research Consortium of Northeast Indiana, which will open on the Parkview Randallia campus in Fort Wayne, Ind.

HU’s new programs will work with and build on the support of the other institutions in the consortium, including Trine University, which plans to launch a doctoral program in physical therapy program at the same location. The programs will also build on Huntington’s undergraduate degrees in exercise science, nursing, and recreation management. Fort Wayne Community Schools, Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast, and the University of Saint Francis will offer programs through the consortium, as well.

Along with the occupational therapy programs, Huntington will offer bachelor’s degree programs in human resource management, not-for-profit leadership, RN-BSN degree completion, and its Master of Counseling program.

“Occupational therapy is an in-demand field which is expected to continue to grow given recent medical developments with stroke survivors as well as people recovering from joint and hip replacements,” said Dr. Norris Friesen (right), senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. “Given the interest in exercise science, our mission and the fact that there are no other similar programs in our area, this is a very unique opportunity for us to influence the next generate of occupational therapists with an accredited program that seeks to integrate God’s message of grace and love by helping people regain their strength and abilities to live full and fruitful lives.”

Bishop John Pessima (right), the leader of Sierra Leone Conference, is pleased to announce that after 150 years of missionary ministry in their country, they have now established their own mission field. They have begun ministry among among the Vai People who straddle the border between Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Although much of Sub-Sahara Africa is heavily evangelized and churches have long been established, the Vai People remain quite unreached with the gospel. Predominantly Muslim (Sunni), only 0.23% of the region’s 124,000 people are Evangelical. The New Testament was translated into their language in 2002, but the entire Bible has not been completed.

Sierra Leone Conference has been sending teams to the region to share the Jesus Film and do evangelistic work. They would now like to send a small team to continue doing their evangelistic and discipleship work, and to open a school as a platform for planting churches.

Global Ministries has already set aside funds to cover the team’s travel expenses from our “Antioch Fund.” This fund covers the travel expenses of our partner conferences when they send missionaries to unreached people groups outside their own country.

Sierra Leone Conference is looking to raise another $10,000 per year to support this ministry. If you would like to assist them, you can send your gifts to Global Ministries indicating that the donation is to support the Sierra Leone – Vai Mission.

If you would like to know more about the Vai People, visit the Joshua Project website.
Interested in supporting this project? Please contact the Global Ministries office in one of these ways:

Phone: 260.356.2312
Toll-free: 888.622.3019

The United Brethren in Christ have 33 churches and numerous church plants in Nicaragua. These churches and pastors, located primarily to the west of the Managua, meet regularly for leadership training and the development of lay workers.

The conference has no place to house people when these events occur. In addition, we have numerous teams visiting the country on a regular basis, such as the baseball team that traveled to Nicaragua this past January.

During the summer of 2012, Global Ministries staff member Jeff Dice will be working with the national conference to build a second floor to an existing building in Masaya. This dormitory space will provide housing for a variety of activities.

Four separate teams from the United States have already committed themselves to assist Nicaraguan volunteers in its construction this summer. The conference has raised $5000 and another $34,300 has been raised in the United States toward the $60,000 project.

Interested in supporting this project?

Please contact the Global Ministries office in one of these ways:

Phone: 260.356.2312
Toll-free: 888.622.3019

2012 graduating nursing students.

Huntington University honored 17 graduating nursing students in a traditional pinning ceremony on Friday, May 11.

The Class of 2012 is the second graduating class from the Department of Nursing. The 2011 class had 10 students.

The history of the nursing pinning ceremony stems from the Crimean War when Florence Nightingale took 38 women to Turkey to nurse sick and wounded British soldiers. As she cared for her patients by the light of a lamp, Florence Nightingale became known as the “lady with the lamp.” As a tribute to Florence’s dedication, the lamp icon became symbolic of nursing. Today, the nursing pin is used to signify this same dedication: the end of formal education and the beginning of practice, a way of welcoming graduates into the nursing profession.

At the ceremony, students received the Huntington University Department of Nursing pin with the department emblem.

This year, Kortney Burton (right) received the senior leadership award for the Class of 2012 from Dr. Margaret Winter, Director of Nursing. She was nominated by her peers.

Mike and Jennifer Burtnett and family are serving in Bulgaria June 15 – July 2, 2012. Along with 9 other teammates from the JAARS youth group, they will be blessing kids, a Bulgarian church planter, and Wycliffe missionaries in this eastern European country.

They have a Facebook page for the trip, and a site for contributing toward the $15,000 needed for the trip.

The Burtnetts serve at the JAARS Center near Charlotte, N.C. JAARS is a partner organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators that provides technical support services and resources to speed Bible translation. Mike is youth pastor to 100-plus missionary kids who live near the center. Jenny designs JAARS’ quarterly magazine, called “Rev. 7.”

The Troy and Julie Hendricks family are no longer part of the Global Ministries endorsed staff. In 2003, they began serving in Spain with SEND International. However, several issues from a very difficult year brought them to the States in October 2011, and they are resigning from SEND International as of May 31, 2012. Troy has landed a job in the Toledo, Ohio, area, and they are currently searching for housing and a job for Julie. Troy and Julie will return to Spain in June for the high school graduation of their daughter Hannah, to take care of household belongings, and to say good-byes with friends and teammates.

They wrote, “We have realized that returning to ministry in Spain with SEND at this moment in our lives is not the healthiest choice for our family. This has been an agonizing decision as we truly love Spain, the people, and our work there.” Please pray with the Hendricks family as they make this transition.

Lindsey Woodall is no longer a member of the Global Ministries endorsed staff. She had been teaching in Honduras, but has returned to the States and is working as a paraprofessional in the Stryker, Ohio, local school system. Lindsey is the daughter of Nick Woodall, pastor of Stryker UB church in Stryker, Ohio.

2012 HU Graduates (click photo to enlarge)

Youth ministry graduates with Professor Dave Rahn (without cap).

On Saturday, May 12, during Commencement ceremonies, Huntington University awarded a total of 257 degrees.

  • 16 Master of Arts degrees.
  • 9 Master of Education degrees.
  • 64 Bachelor of Arts degrees.
  • 1 Bachelor of Music degree.
  • 120 Bachelor of Science degrees.
  • 17 Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.
  • 9 Bachelor of Social Work degrees.
  • 3 Associate of Arts and 15 Associate of Science degrees.

In addition, 3 persons received honorary doctorates: (read more about them here).

  • Commencement speaker Dan Wolgemuth, president and CEO of Youth for Christ USA.
  • Rev. Luther Whitfield, senior director of Youth for Christ’s Primetime Community Center in Fort Wayne and senior pastor of New Covenant Worship Center.
  • 1977 Huntington alum Charles Curie, for his national leadership in the field of public and mental health.

The afternoon commencement followed the morning baccalaureate service where Dr. Tim Smith, HU associate professor of history, gave a sermon titled “The Empire Strikes Back.” His sermon centered on Ecclesiastes 9:11.

Five United Brethren students were among the many Huntington University students recognized on Forester Night, held May 1.

The 2012 Impact Initiative Scholarship was given to Jordan Vanengen, a sophomore from Banner of Christ UB church in Byron Center, Mich. The award is presented by the Student Senate to a student who has had an impact on the university and the greater community. The student receives a $1,000 scholarship for his or her junior and senior years.

Twenty seniors were honored by their respective departments with Outstanding Senior plaques. These UB students were among the recipients:

  • Computer Science: Robert Hindy, a computer science major from Fowlerville, Mich. He is from Fowlerville UB church.
  • Education: Ellen Wolf, an elementary education major from Huntington, Ind. Ellen is from Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Psychology: Jennifer Cramer, a sociology and psychology major from Shippensburg, Pa. She is from Prince Street UB church in Shippensburg.
  • Social Work: Suzanne Radosevich, a social work major from Huntington, Ind. Suzanne is from The Well in Huntington.

Other recipients of major awards on Forester Night:

  • Jonathan Brenneman, a senior history and philosophy major from St. Marys, Ohio, was named the Male Forester of the Year.
  • Katie Martin, a senior middle grades education and elementary education major from Eaton, Ohio, was named the Female Forester of the Year. Foresters of the Year are voted on by the Huntington University student body.
  • Dr. Kent Eilers, assistant professor of theology, was named the 2012 Professor of the Year. Eilers has been at HU since 2009.

In addition, 10 Huntington University students-athletes were inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma honor society for 2012. This national college athlete honor society recognizes student-athletes who excel in athletics and academics. The recipients include two UB students:

  • Michelle Hawthorne, a junior nursing major from Brooklyn, Mich., for soccer. Michelle is from Heart O the Lakes UB church in Brooklyn.
  • Lance Wood, a senior entrepreneurial small business management and business management from Waterville, Ohio, for cross country and track. Lance is from NorthPoint Church in Toledo, Ohio.